The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law trains students and lawyers in the proper use of scientific evidence, focusing on the misuse of “junk science” in contributing to wrongful convictions. In addition the Center seeks justice for those individuals incarcerated with excessive sentences through parole work and clemency requests. The Perlmutter Center was established through a $15-million philanthropic donation from the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Foundation. Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter is the Chairman of Marvel Entertainment. Laura Perlmutter is a Director of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Foundation.
Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice Leadership
A prominent civil rights attorney and criminal justice reform advocate, Dubin has helped exonerate countless wrongfully incarcerated individuals. He also serves as the president of Dubin Research and Consulting, Inc. (DRC), a Manhattan-based consulting firm that specializes in jury selection, persuasive visual aids and trial strategy for complex civil and criminal matters. Dubin is regarded as one of the most preeminent trial strategy and jury consultants in the nation.
For 21 years, Derrick Hamilton was wrongfully incarcerated in the New York prison system. Hamilton began studying in the prison’s law library, eventually teaching himself enough criminal law to become “one of the most skilled jailhouse lawyers in the country.” Hamilton was eventually paroled and his case has since been vacated and dismissed after the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) concluded that he was innocent of all charges. He is regarded as one of the most respected and trusted legal strategists in wrongful conviction cases.
As the director of policy and reform, Sarah leads the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice's (PCLJ) forensic science policy initiatives. She served on the Scientific Inquiry and Research Subcommittee of the National Commission on Forensic Science and was the 2021 recipient of the Legal Aid Society’s Magnus Mukoro Award for Integrity in Forensic Science.
Emily Lane is a recent graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She is thrilled to join the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law (PCLJ) team as a Junior Staff Attorney.
Marie Louise Samuels-Parmer
Marie-Louise Samuels Parmer is a Florida-based attorney who has represented individuals raising collateral challenges of wrongful conviction and unjust sentencing in serious criminal matters in Florida state and federal district courts, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Prior to focusing on collateral litigation, she tried numerous cases to jury verdict as an Assistant Public Defender in Hillsborough County, Florida.
Interweaving her experiences in the fields of education, public health, and non-profit management, Christina Rho incorporates multiple modalities of organizational strategy to facilitate PCLJ’s operational processes.
Sameillia (Sam) McFarlane
Sameillia McFarlane is the Mail Intake Coordinator for the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law. She recently earned her Bachelor of Science (BS) in Mass Communications from Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. Before joining PCLJ full-time, Sam was a member of the inaugural class of The Shawn Carter Foundation x Josh Dubin Fellowship in 2022. During her tenure in the fellowship, Sam and her dedicated teammates worked tirelessly to secure the release of Bruce Bryan, an individual wrongfully convicted by the legal system. This unique opportunity allowed her to collaborate with like-minded individuals who shared her unwavering commitment to rectifying the injustices within the legal system.
The Perlmutter Freedom Clinic
The PCLJ Experience
About the Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice
The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice is a multifaceted center established through a generous donation from the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Foundation. The Perlmutters’ philanthropy is focused on one clear and powerful goal: helping others.
The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice has two components. The first is a student field clinic called The Perlmutter Freedom Clinic at Cardozo Law, which focuses on cases where the conviction was based on the misuse of scientific evidence and works to obtain clemency for individuals unjustly incarcerated. The second component, The Perlmutter Forensic Science Education Program, will feature an ambitious legal education program in scientific evidence designed for practicing attorneys. The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice builds on the decades-long success of Cardozo’s Forensic Science College.
Seeking Justice for the Unjustly Incarcerated
Two fierce advocates are leading the center’s efforts. At the helm is Executive Director Josh Dubin, one of the preeminent civil rights attorneys and legal strategy consultants in the nation. Serving as Deputy Director is legal strategist and paralegal Derrick Hamilton, who was falsely imprisoned for over 20 years and won his own exoneration while helping fellow inmates with their cases.
Convictions based on the misuse of forensic evidence occur too frequently in the criminal justice system. The Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice trains the next generation of lawyers in the correct use of forensic evidence. In addition, it focuses on overly harsh and punitive convictions and sentences through clemency work. Systemic racism, social inequity and the proliferation of unregulated and misunderstood “junk science” have added to unjust incarcerations that disproportionately impact communities of color.
Our Vision and Mission
We envision a world where racial equity, fairness and integrity are the guiding principles of our criminal justice system, where forensic evidence is well-grounded, verifiable and used to prevent convictions—not hand them out—and where every person has equal access to justice.
We are empowering the next generation of lawyers to fight for freedom for those unjustly serving time, through our programs, including a partnership with the National Forensic College, The Perlmutter Freedom Clinic at Cardozo Law and The Perlmutter Forensic Science Education Program. As legal educators and practitioners, we believe we have a duty to address the inequities of our justice system and strive to give hope to those bearing the consequences of unjust incarcerations.
We believe in using the law to secure the freedom of those unjustly incarcerated on poor scientific evidence, also known as junk science. We seek the freedom of those individuals serving unfairly long prison sentences due to Draconian drug laws or other forms of systemic oppression.
We stand for integrity in the use of scientific evidence, and we fight for fair treatment of individuals unjustly or unfairly incarcerated. We seek to change what’s wrong in scientific evidence to what’s right in courts and to root out the injustice that tragically impacts so many lives.
We are forward-thinking and creative problem-solvers. Systemic change demands imagination and innovative solutions to meet today’s challenges and anticipate tomorrow’s opportunities.
We recognize the humanity of incarcerated people and honor the hard work of rehabilitation. We elevate voices informed by lived experience and seek to always listen first.
Collaboration & Teamwork
We are a bipartisan and inclusive organization that celebrates the diversity of ideas and skills needed to make real systemic change. We understand that people don’t need to agree on every issue to know that reforming and eliminating systemic inequalities in the criminal justice system is the right thing to do.
Perlmutter Center News
Programs and Centers
Milbank and Cardozo’s Perlmutter Center Announce Partnership to Advance Criminal Justice Reform
Programs and Centers
Sarah Chu, Director of Policy and Reform at PCLJ Joined Advocates Calling on Gov. Hochul to Sign the Challenging Wrongful Convictions Act
Clinics & Externships
Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo School of Law Celebrates Release of Bruce Bryan Following Clemency Victory
At this time, PCLJ only accepts criminal cases in the post-conviction phase. Our areas of focus are wrongful conviction, excessive sentencing, and clemency.
Email us at email@example.com or write to us at:
Perlmutter Center for Legal Justice at Cardozo Law
Attn: Case Intake
55 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10003